The 45-member drafting body of the Constitutional Committee held its first meeting at the United Nations Office in Geneva on Monday in the presence of the UN envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen.
The co-chairs of the Constitutional Committee agreed to dedicate the agenda of this session to the development of a working program for the next sessions. They also agreed to make use of the discussions of the ideas and suggestions that were put forward during the expanded meetings of the Committee in order to determine what ideas and suggestion can be developed into constitutional principles.
Representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee presented a proposal for the mechanism of work during this session in order to reach consensus and commonalities for the agenda of this session and a mechanism for its implementation.
Member of the Constitutional Committee, Ahmed al-Asrawi, said that as per the mandate given to the Committee, the Committee will work to reach an agreement to draft a new constitution for the country.
Al-Asrawi added that the key to the work of the drafting body are the 12 Living Intra-Syrian Essential Principles which the Syrians agreed on with the United Nations and which were issued during the previous rounds of talks in Geneva and adopted by the final communique of the Sochi Conference.
Al-Asrawi added that the task of all members of the Committee should to work as a group for the interest of Syria, no matter how different the views and positions.
He stressed that the representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee are open to all ideas and inputs that all members should work on so as to serve as chapters in the new constitution.
Al-Asrawi pointed out that members of the drafting body had a groundwork for their work, namely the document of the rules of procedure which were approved by the United Nations, adding that the meetings of the Constitutional Committee are being held in accordance with the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Secretary General, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, met with people from the provinces of Deir Ezzor and Hasaka in eastern Syria and discussed with them the latest field and political developments in the region and the Coalition’s vision for the management of the region.
The meeting was also attended by the Vice-President of the Syrian Tribal Council, Sheikh Amer Al-Bashir, and Ibrahim Pasha Al-Milli, a dignitary from the Ras Al-Ayn town in rural Raqqa.
Participants in the meeting put forward their visions for the safe zone and Operation Peace Spring as they called for providing security and stability for the people and for the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) to start its work in the liberated areas.
They also pointed to the importance of SIG’s Ministry of Local Administration to form local councils representing the people of the region, forming a police force, and the provision of essential services such as health and education.
Moreover, the participants stressed the need for SIG’s institutions and the leadership of the Syrian National Army to prevent any abuses and violations.
Abdullatif said that the Coalition is working with SIG to control security and provide stability in the areas which have been liberated as part of Operation Peace Spring.
He outlined the Coalition’s vision for the region, which is based on allowing the local population to manage their areas by themselves. He pointed out that SIG has recently helped establish a local council in the town of Tel Abyad and is currently working on forming similar councils in the newly liberated areas. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Syrian National Coalition’s Secretary General, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, met with the Minister of Interior of the Interim Syrian Government Muhyiddin Harmoush and discussed with him the latest developments in Tal Abyad area of rural Raqqa and the ongoing investigation into the terrorist bombing that rocked the town on Saturday.
Abdullatif and Harmoush extended their sincere condolences to the families of the victims of the terrorist bombing as they stressed that the bombing had all the hallmarks of the PYD militia which is ardently seeking to spread chaos and undermine security and stability in the region. They stressed the continued work to make the safe zone project a success and rid civilians of terrorist organizations.
The two sides also stressed the importance of speeding up the formation of a professional police force and an internal security apparatus in the region. They said that such a move will help the Syrian National Army maintain security and fend off terrorist attacks against civilians.
Abdullatif also met with head of the local council in Raqqa, Fayez Al-Kata'a and discussed with him the work of the council and the importance of strengthening communication with the newly formed local council in Tel Abyad.
The two sides also discussed the importance of communicating with the people who were displaced from the eastern region and creating the suitable conditions for their return to their places of origin, especially after the liberation of large areas thanks to Operation Peace Spring. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Secretary General of the Syrian National Coalition, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, met with the Head of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa and discussed with him SIG’s work in the liberated areas in Syria’s northwest, especially SIG’s latest efforts in east of the Euphrates areas that have been recently liberated through Operation Peace Spring.
The two sides discussed the major challenges facing SIG’s work in the region. Abdullatif praised SIG’s efforts to ensure security and stability in the liberated areas and improve services despite the numerous difficulties.
For his part, Mustafa said that SIG is sparing no effort to improve the services being provided to civilians as he thanked the Syrian National Coalition and the Turkish government for their support for SIG’s efforts.
Mustafa pointed out that SIG helped establish a local council in the town of Tel Abyad in northern rural Raqqa as well as activated the work of local ministries and service institutions such as justice, education and health. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
As part of its efforts to uphold the principles of international humanitarian law (IHL) and respect for human rights, the National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons agreed with the leadership of Brigade 123 of the Syrian National Army to offer the Brigade fighters education courses on IHL.
As many as 3,000 fighters of the Brigade 123 will take the courses which are aimed at raising awareness of IHL and educating the fighters on the rules of conduct during conflict.
The courses also aim to educate the fighters on their responsibility to protect the civilian population and persons hors de combat, how to treat prisoners, and to uphold respect for humanitarian principles. IHL consists of a set of rules aimed at reducing the consequences of armed conflict. It also protects persons who are not or no longer taking part in hostilities and limits the means and methods of warfare.
As an independent human rights organization, the Commission aims to assist the SNA fighters to better understand and promote respect for IHL. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Secretary General of the Syrian National Coalition, Abdelbaset Abdullatif, and Head of the Syrian Interim Government, Abdurrahman Mustafa, visited the office of the Assistance Coordination Unit (ACU) in Gaziantep and met with the Head of the Unit Muhammad Hasno.
Hasno gave an overview of ACU’s recent activities, projects and workshops to serve the Syrian civilians as well as the challenges facing its work in the liberated areas.
Abdullatif and Mustafa also visited Sanliurfa where they met with civil and military bodies comprising Arabs, Turkomen and Kurds from eastern Syria. They discussed with them the latest developments in Operation Peace Spring.
Abdullatif gave an overview of the vision of the Coalition and SIG’s with regards to the administration of the region. He stressed that this vision is based on allowing the people of the region to manage their affairs by themselves and on activating the institutions that serve the people and provide them with a dignified and safe life.
The discussions were followed by an open dialogue in which the audience presented important suggestions to improve services in the region, while it was agreed to continue communication and coordination. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Constitutional Committee on Friday adopted the code of conduct of its members and the initial procedural rules of its two co-chairs. The Committee is convening at the UN Office in Geneva.
Members of the Committee continued to introduce themselves and outline their vision of the future constitution of Syria. Representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Committee stressed the importance of drafting a modern constitution that safeguards the rights of all components of Syrian society as well as guarantees their freedom and dignity.
Members of the Commission stressed the importance of separation in the three executive, legislative and judicial powers.
They also reaffirmed their readiness to fully engage in the constitutional process in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, most notably the Geneva Communique of 2012 and UN resolution 2254 as key to reaching a comprehensive political solution. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The Secretary General of the Syrian National Coalition, Abdulbaset Abdullatif, received representatives of the Syrian Home Association at the Coalition headquarters in Istanbul and discussed with them the situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey and the services being provided by the Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee.
Abdul Latif praised the important role the Syrian associations in Turkey are playing to organize the situation of Syrian nationals and work with them to solve their problems. He expressed his full support for these associations as he said that the Coalition stood ready to work with them and help them.
The two sides discussed the requests that were submitted to the Syrian-Turkish Joint Committee and the facilitations it provided to legalize the residence of Syrian nationals on Turkish territory as well as regulatory measures to solve the majority of problems faced by Syrian nationals in Turkey.
Abdullatif gave on overview of the cases resolved with the Turkish authorities and the cases that will be worked on later, especially after the meeting between the Technical Committee and the Director General of the Migration Management in Ankara last week.
The two sides also discussed ways to communicate and establish a joint mechanism of action to convey the cases and challenges faced by the Syrian nationals to the Turkish authorities. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
The National Commission for Detainees and Missing Persons toured a temporary detention facility that is run by the Syrian National Army (SNA) 123rd Brigade to check on the conditions inside. The visit came after a constructive dialogue with the SNA commanders.
The Commission pointed that the 123rd Brigade leadership showed cooperativeness with the Commission and provided it with full access to the facility.
The Commission said that it earlier visited the Tel Abyad prison in northern rural Raqqa to ascertain the conditions inside the facility and make sure that the inmates are been treated in accordance with the principles of international humanitarian law and the provisions of the Geneva Conventions.
The Commission pointed out that it interviewed the detainees in the prison as well as reviewed their conditions and reasons for their detention. It said that the detainees have access to food, clean water, and medical care.
Moreover, the Commission listened to the demands of the prisoners and instructed the prison administration to allow the detainees to communicate with their families.
The Commission praised the cooperativeness shown by the 123rd Brigade leadership and its readiness to promote respect for human rights and the principles of international humanitarian law.
The Commission stressed the importance of upholding these standards as a behavior rooted in the fighters of the SNA elements which carries the values and ethics of the Syrian revolution in freedom, justice and dignity. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)
Representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee met a delegation from the Turkish Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva on Wednesday and discussed with them the latest developments in the safe zone in northeastern Syria and the political developments related to the launch of the work of the Constitutional Committee.
Representatives of the Syrian Negotiations Commission in the Constitutional Committee presented their vision of the future constitution of Syria, reaffirming the protection of rights and freedoms, ensuring the rights of Syrian women and their participation in all aspects, and ensuring a separation in the executive, legislative and judicial powers.
They pointed to the importance of the constitutional process to be part of the overall political process and of working to discuss the rest of the baskets, including the governing body and to reach a political solution in accordance with UN resolution 2254.
The meeting touched on the issue of detainees, with the representatives stressing the importance of releasing all detainees from the prisons of the Assad regime, not only children and women. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)